I met Alice when our sons started primary school together about 10 years ago, and it seemed a funny coincidence that we both caught the quilting bug whilst living in Canada. We don’t manage to catch up so often but Alice has very kindly proof-read patterns for me in the past, and always has insightful words about why we make things and why it matters.
Teaching people to sew, and putting on exhibitions of their work, has taught me that even those who would not consider themselves as artistic are able to make a quilt and display it for others to admire. Even if they need a little encouragement to do so. I believe that makes quilting much more accessible than drawing and painting, and is one of the reasons why it is such a rewarding skill to share. It is not cheating to follow a pattern, or work within limitations. The end product is still a personal expression of taste, formed with your own hands and the start of a creative journey which could lead in so many interesting directions. Making can be ordered and systematic, as easily as it can be freestyle and improvised. If you love a rule, there are plenty to learn in this industry, but you don’t have to abide by any of them if you don’t want to!
Alice has less emotional attachment to the finished object, because it is the making process that really fills her with enjoyment. I think this sentiment is true for many. We all know people who are delighted to gift their quilts to others and then move onto the next project with another lucky recipient in mind.
I quilt to stay curious. Sewing keeps me calm and I love Alice’s idea that she wouldn’t be exposing her whole self to what the world has to offer if quilting wasn’t part of her life.
The pattern for this quilt is called Heart Crazies.
I would love to know what you think.